Kajiado county being semi-arid in Kenya is one of the counties facing drought facing most parts of Kenya. Due to prolonged drought, pastoralist communities have lost their livestock. Livestock, which pastoralist families rely upon for nourishment and livelihood, has died in large numbers. Crippling rural economy.
Climate change, political and economic instability, the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, and the damage caused by the desert locust infestation and increased food prices have intensified and blatantly exposed the vulnerability of the Maasai rural communities. Children, pregnant and lactating mothers, are acutely malnourished. This state of malnutrition among these vulnerable populations has compromised their immunity and increased their risk of exposure to disease.
Education has been hit hard as most parents prefer their children to stay home as they cannot walk the long distance to school hungry. In some cases, learners have fainted in schools due to hunger and thirst. Some learners, especially young boys, have taken out from school to assist their fathers and older brothers to go look for greener pastures. The schools do not have feeding programs that can ensure learners stay in school and this has greatly affected rural education.
Most families have adopted desperate and unhealthy coping mechanisms to deal with the atrocities of the drought. The drought has further heightened the risk of gender-based violence and sexual exploitation and abuse hampering children’s access to education. Children are at risk of dropping out of school unless urgent measures are taken to provide them with sufficient food and water.
We have been actively implementing initiatives to cushion the most vulnerable community members against the drought. To fight food insecurity and save livelihoods, the most vulnerable communities have received food packages to support their families and ensure that learners stay in school.
Additionally, to address the water, sanitation, and hygiene situation, we are trying to safeguard access to clean and safe water; proper sanitation, and effective hygiene for the local communities. This includes the drilling of boreholes and the provision of essential hygiene items and dignity kits for healthy menstrual management among school-going girls.
We call upon well-wishers to continue to support us as we continue to support the communities.
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